Microsoft Offers Beta Version of XP Embedded

In its drive to be taken seriously by the embedded community, Microsoft Corp. announced this week that it will make a broad offering of the Windows XP Embedded operating system through a special preview aimed at developers. Windows XP Embedded, being developed in parallel with the desktop version of XP, will reportedly be unveiled as a product late this year. The company said this week, however, that it is now offering the second beta edition of XP Embedded on its Web site. Developers visiting the site can also order a CD (priced at approximately $8 USD) containing the operating system. Microsoft executives said they offered the beta version as a result of demand from developers.

Preemptible Linux – A Reality Check

"Some oppose a preemptible kernel because of throughput concerns. Others oppose preemptibility because of concerns about growing complexity in the kernel. This argument is specious, because the preemption approach takes advantage of already required and in place SMP locking. No additional complexity is created. All Linux kernel engineering must already take into account SMP requirements. Some oppose continued refinement of SMP locking to achieve better SMP scaling (on higher way SMP systems); such refinement has the beneficial side effect of also reducing preemption off periods in a preemptible kernel." Read the rest of the editorial at LinuxDevices by Kevin Morgan who is the Vice President, Engineering at MontaVista Software.

First Operating Engine Without a Kernel

Unununium 111 is a completely new approach to OS developement. Using 100% x86 assembly code and the VoiD architecture, the system is completely hot-pluggable to any system and without a kernel of its own which makes it extremely dynamic. The unununium project is an effort at creating a highly dynamic environment, that can be molded into various systems capable of sharing parts, thus simplifying and reducing the time needed to develop many closely related, but not identical, specialized operating systems. Their goal is to develop a set of tools with related documentation that other projects will be able to use.

New HP Jornada released, running PocketPC 2002

On the heels of its stunning acquisition announcement, HP announced the release of new Jornada handhelds. They're the first to sport Intel's new StrongARM 206 MHz processor, and the first machines to run PocketPC 2002. One would suppose that the Jornada and the iPaq lines are going to go head to head internally to see which one has a future. If this announcement is any indication, the Jornada team isn't ready to roll over and concede to the more-popular iPaq now that they're in the same company. Read's coverage.

DOJ Says Microsoft Should Not Break Up

The U.S. Justice Department announced today that it will not seek to break Microsoft Corp. in two during the next phase of the software maker's landmark antitrust case. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in late June had overturned a lower court's order by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson that Microsoft be broken into two companies as a remedy for anticompetitive practices. At the same time, it upheld the lower court's conclusion that Microsoft has a monopoly in the market for computer operating systems and maintains that monopoly power by anticompetitive means in violation of U.S. antitrust laws.

Microsoft Showcases New Tech at Research’s 10th Anniversary

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates demonstrated today technologies for transcribing spoken Chinese, making handheld computers aware of when they're being touched and moved, and adding emotion to computer slide shows. At an event recognizing the 10th anniversary of Microsoft Research, Gates indulged his fondness for technology, raising hopes for a world where computers will become more useful. At the event, among the things it was showed was a handheld computer that understands which way is up and where it's being touched, technology that lets it reorient the display according to how it's held or understand when a person is holding it like a cell phone to give dictation. The "Mulan" software project for reading Chinese writing out loud or transcribing speech into characters. With about 60,000 characters in Chinese, it's difficult to use keyboards. Automated bug detection that helped make Windows 2000 less crash-prone is being used in all other Microsoft product lines. Video compression technology that's less error-prone than the prevailing MPEG4 standard. Software that's designed not to sap people's emotion when creating narrated slide shows so sharing photos online is more like the storytelling that accompanies the viewing of traditional photo albums. Software that can reconstruct three-dimensional images from a few still photos.

Interview With Ville Turjanmaa, the Creator of MenuetOS

Today we are hosting an interview with Ville Turjanmaa, the creator of the Menuet Operating System. Menuet is a new, 32-bit OS, it fits to a single floppy (along with 10 or so more applications that come as standard with the OS). It features protection for the memory and code, it has a GUI running at 16,7 million colors, sound at 44.1 khz stereo, easy of use and easy low level API. And the most important and notable feature? The whole OS was written in 100%, pure 32-bit x86 assembly code.

Red Hat Unveils Embedded Software

Red Hat, Inc. announced today a programming toolkit for creating software for "embedded" computing devices such as set-top boxes, handheld computers or network routers. The Embedded Linux Developer Suite comes with version 2.4 of the Linux kernel, RedBoot loading software to start up the device, configuration tools for different software modules, and options and support for MIPS, SuperH, Intel-compatible, PowerPC, ARM, StrongARM and XScale chips. Pricing will be announced in October, when the software goes on sale, Red Hat said.

Interview with QNX’s Paul Leroux

Just in time for the Embedded Systems Conference in Boston this week, we here at OSNews thought that we would bring our readers an interview from the world of embedded OSes.
OSNews was happy to meet with Paul Leroux of QNX Software Systems at their headquarters in Kanata, part of the Silicon Valley North area around Ottawa, Ontario. With 20 years of experience in the field, QNX is synonymous with embedded systems. Many people will be familiar with the QNX demo disk that fit their OS, GUI, browser, web server, games, TCP/IP, and more onto a 1.44M bootable floppy. In 2000 QNX gained notoriety for making the QNX realtime platform free for non-commercial use. QNX has been riding a wave of buzz in this last year. We spoke during the hectic lead up to Embedded Systems Conference.

New Development Version of GTK+ Available

A new release of the development versions of GTK+ and associated libraries (GLib, Pango, Atk) is available. This is a an unstable preview release and should not be used in production. This release is incompatible with GTK+ and GLib 1.2.x and software that has not been explicitly ported will not compile with this version. GTK+ 1.3.7 is the unstable version that will result to GTK+ 2.0 which is the next major version of GTK+ and the one which Gnome 2.0 will be based on.

VMware Launches VMware Workstation 3.0 Beta

VMWare today announced the availability of a Beta release of VMware Workstation 3.0, the latest generation of its award-winning desktop software for technical professionals. Workstation 3.0 delivers significant performance and usability improvements over previous releases, the company says. Workstation 3.0 provides support for the latest operating systems including WindowsXP and the latest Linux distributions, supports additional peripheral devices, and provides significant enhancements in networking and better overall performance. VMware will ship Workstation 3.0 in the fourth quarter of 2001. New features include: Host and guest OS support for WindowsXP Pro and Home Edition, USB device support, DVD-ROM support, CD-R/RW support, CD-ROM ISO image support, generic SCSI device support -- makes devices available directly to the guest OS, large virtual disk support, now up to 128 GB per IDE virtual disk and 256 GB per SCSI virtual disk, improved CPU, networking, disk and interactive performance, completely new Windows style user interface (Windows host version), built-in NAT for easy connection to networks, more flexible and easier to configure virtual networking, improved support for laptops and more. Our Take: No word for BeOS support as a Guest OS. Update: I downloaded the latest beta version and BeOS loads this time, without crashing. While it is loading very fast in the beginning, when it is going to graphics mode, because the VMWare virtual graphics device does not expose the VESA standard, the performance falls so much that hits the disk pretty hard. Normal BeOS boot time is 12 seconds when launched natively, under VMWare it takes up to 5 minutes on a dual Celeron 533 under Win2000 and of course it is so slow (please remember that all this slowness is just because of the unsuported gfx subsystem that makes the rest of the launching process and the OS to be unresponsive) that it is completely unusable. Screenshot here.

PostgreSQL vs MySQL, a Year Later

"To many people, PostgreSQL and MySQL seem like similar, alternative databases. Both are quickly gaining popularity. Based on the track records of older versions, there's a lot of debate over the speed of PostgreSQL and the durability of MySQL. But times have changed and each database has progressed. On both counts, the two packages are the closest they've ever been, so when deciding which to use in a Web application, a developer doesn't always have a clear winner. If you're looking for a database to prop up a Weblog or portal, you'll find that many such packages rely on MySQL. It should be possible to port them to PostgreSQL, but if you're looking for a turnkey package, chances are you're not interested in doing too much porting work. If you're migrating from Oracle, Sybase, or Microsoft SQL Server, I suggest PostgreSQL. Like those databases, PostgreSQL has triggers, stored procedures, and a rich set of built-in functions (including many functions for date manipulation). Also, PostgreSQL procedural language is easy to learn if you're familiar with Oracle's PL/SQL and SQL Server's Transact-SQL." Read the whole shootout article over at WebTechniques.

First Glance at nVidia’s nForce Glue Chipset

FiringSquad takes a look at nVidia's first offering of motherboard chipsets, the nForce, which reportedly has some interesting features including 3D capabilities. The reviewer concludes that "Now that you've seen everything NVIDIA is offering with nForce, you see why we feel this is a groundbreaking product -- quite literally there isn't anything else on the market with such powerful features! Even if you don't like them, you've got to give NVIDIA a lot of respect With nForce, NVIDIA has turned itself into a powerful competitor in a little over a year!"